What would you expect to pay for a coffee-table book that chronicles 20 years of Apple design?

Quite a bit if you go by the price tag selected by the tech giant.

In what could be described as a self-indulgent act, Apple is selling a coffee-table book containing 450 photographs of past and current products for NZ$421.00.

Admittedly, there is smaller version of the coffee table book for NZ$280, which some could argue is still a tad excessive.

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The hardbound book, Designed by Apple in California, showcases products from the company's 1998 iMac to the Apple Pencil released last year.

In addition to the pictures of its products, the book has been dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs.
In addition to the pictures of its products, the book has been dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs.

In addition to the pictures of its products, the book has been dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs and also details the techniques and materials used by Apple's design team.

Apple's chief design officer Jony Ive said the book was designed to give a better insight into the company's innovation over two decades.

"The idea of genuinely trying to make something great for humanity was Steve's motivation from the beginning, and it remains both our ideal and our goal as Apple looks to the future," he said.

"This archive is intended to be a gentle gathering of many of the products the team has designed over the years. We hope it brings some understanding to how and why they exist, while serving as a resource for students of all design disciplines."

The foreword of Designed by Apple in California reiterates this message.

"While this is a design book, it is not about the design team, the creative process or product development. It is an objective representation of our work that, ironically, describes who we are," it reads.

"It describes how we work, our values, our preoccupations and our goals. We have always hoped to be defined by what we do rather than by what we say.

"We strive, with varying degrees of success, to define objects that appear effortless. Objects that appear so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative."

As mentioned earlier, the small 260x324mm coffee table book will cost NZ$280, while the larger 330x412mm copy will set you back NZ$421.

This cost could be due to Apple printing the book on "specially milled, custom-dyed paper with gilded matte silver edges, using eight colour separations and low-ghost ink".

Then again, the more cynical among us might think it's just be Apple trying to cash in from its loyal fanbase.

Designed by Apple in California can be purchased on Apple's online store.